ABSTRACT 052NF TR GREAVES, ed.
The Messianic Legacy, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln, 1986; New York, Henry Holt and Company. 364pp, illustrated, index.
In this sequel to their better known Holy Blood, Holy Grail, 1982, authors Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh continue to make their persuasive case for the survival, possibly to the present day, of a line of descendents of the man known to history as Jesus of Nazareth.
More material concerning the mysterious Priory of Zion is brought to light. The authors’ own speculations on the Priory’s possible agenda are sufficiently candid: “In any case, and quite apart from the [question of the] treasure of the Temple, the Prieure de Sion can promulgate a claim which would enjoy considerable currency even in today’s world. On behalf of the families it represents, it can establish a dynastic succession [via the 7th cent-ury Merovingian king Dagobert II] extending back to the Old Testament House of David
[by way of Jesus].” Such a claim would presumably be based upon the same sort of historical documentation Baigent, et al., have unearthed,- unless, of course, something identifiable from the Temple Treasure could be produced…. Their book can be con-sidered one of the prequels to The DaVinci Code, and serves also as a good introduction to serious modern biblical scholarship as found in the works of Hyam Maccoby, Elaine Pagels, and others.
Part One is an absorbing historical study of the Primitive Church and its socio-cultural milieu. In Part Two the “crisis of faith” of the modern western world is analyzed in the context of symbolism and its “reactivation.” Part Three concentrates on the possible role of the Prieure in all this. The book is well-documented, well-reasoned, and well-written. It languishes, even now, in the Orphanarium of Unadopted Hypotheses alongside Hamlet’s Mill, The Sirius Mystery and the collected works of Professor Grafton Elliot Smith.
Jesus of Nazareth/ Priory of Zion/Merovingian kings/Constantine/gnosticism/archetypal myths/CIA/Knights Templar/the Crucifixion/Adolf Hitler/Naziism/manipulation of history/national and cultural myths/Saint Paul/Roman Catholic Church/secret societies/non-canonical gospels/chivalry/Irish monasticism/the Atbash cipher